Name: Candy’s Eyes
Formed: November 2012
Similar to: Laura Marling | Rachel Austin | James Blake
What They Say: Spooky songs about death and revenge… and birds.
What We Say: Predominantly a stripped back affair this time round from Elizabeth McGeown, yet there is a distinctive edge and presence particularly with those ominous vocals. Perhaps a niche genre but this is a welcome breath of fresh air
◀ Q & A ▶
▶ Tell us about your band name?
It came to me late one night. Just the idea really that you can be more honest hiding behind a persona so I chose Candy’s Eyes to represent the fact that it was the world through the slightly unusual perspective/eyes of someone, namely Candy/me.
▶ When did you start playing music and how long did it take to find your own sound?
Well, I’ve sang all my life and really started performing with Uber Glitterati, which really gave me the chance to get used to being on stage, but because we worked with computer software the instrumental tracks were fully written before I heard them so after a while of being delighted with adding lyrics and harmonies like this, I began to wonder what I would come up with song-wise if the template wasn’t already there for me. If it was just… me. I started writing while still in Uber Glitterati and realised I enjoyed the creativity and control it gave me. These songs are really my first attempt at making my own sound from nothing, just a capella tunes from inside my head which is interesting. I have to sing them to a guitarist and they write around them, assigning a definite key and adding instrumental details which in turn inspires me with harmonies and flourishes, as I can’t really harmonise with my own voice in my own head…
▶ What releases have you put out so far?
None! We’re brand new. Yes, I started songwriting over a year ago but a difficulty in finding band members means we’re still at the beginning. A few demos on soundcloud with an EP coming out in a few months…
▶ Is there a particular live show that stands out amongst all the rest?
We played a show in the Black Box Cafe for European Heritage Open Day and it was just great. A respectful audience, you could hear a pin drop. My voice worked properly, we debuted a new song and a few people came up to me afterwards and told me how much they enjoyed it.
▶ Can you talk about a Highlight and a Lowlight of the journey so far?
I think we all have lowlights, don’t we? For me it’s been the line-up, a few of my good friends/guitarists who helped me with songwriting and getting my initial confidence to believe that these ARE songs have emigrated, so trying to find new people and start over is always tough, especially as it seems everyone involved in music in NI is already triple-booked with bands!
For a highlight it would maybe be the first time I sang what was in my head to Malachy [one of my songwriting partners] and he didn’t look at me like I was insane, we just got to work choosing a tempo, key and I wrote vocals for a bridge over and instrumental passage he improvised. These things in my head were real songs!
▶You are in control of forming a 4 piece ‘super group’ – who is in it and what do they do?
Er, me. I’m in it. I couldn’t be a manager and sit on the sidelines. Jealousy would kill me. I would sing. I think I would love to explore harmonies in songwriting with another female singer, maybe Jenny Lewis. I would let her play guitar too! Maybe we could have Fyfe Dangerfield of Guillemots on keys and I would let him throw in the odd vocal! Oh, and Joanna Newsom on harp. I imagine we would write some pretty far-out stuff together…
▶ If you and 3 bands of your choosing were to do a world tour, who would the other 3 bands be?
Florence and the Machine for sure. I love her stagecraft, the layering of instruments and the songwriting. It’s extremely unlikely that I would ever be on a tour with Björk but wishlist-wise she would be it! She has the full audiovisual element and she can make anything musical, and make music out of anything. Maybe she would let me be in her choir, Graduale Nobili! And Fleetwood Mac, as that’s probably the only way I would ever be able to afford a ticket! It would definitely be an interesting tour bus and slumber party…
▶ What will be the 3 strangest things on your rider when you’re able to make any demand?
I don’t drink so I don’t care about beer and stuff, which means venues are saving so much money booking me! Decent food would be awesome. I’m a little obsessed with sushi at the moment so plenty of that, and bread with tapenade and pesto!
If it’s a brand new city, give me a map and a travel card/guide book and I’ll organise my own tour! I love exploring new places.
Stick a bed in the backstage area, or at the very least a comfortable sofa with pillows. Travel can be tiring and nothing beats a good lie down!
▶ Who has been your biggest inspiration as a musician?
Taking it local, I might have to say Katie Richardson as she’s had a similar backstory to me. The Delawares finished and got her head down and worked hard, she started over with new songs, new people and a real zest for music. Line-up changes happen to everyone of course, but The Carnival rolls on!
▶ Finally what does success mean to you?
Getting to the stage where you don’t have to fear a bad review, because you have enough good ones behind you that it doesn’t matter, that you have people believing in you. And being able to travel the world singing!